Teachers’ conceptions of feedback: Results from a national sample of New Zealand teachers

Gavin Thomas Lumsden BROWN, Lois Ruth HARRIS, Jennifer A. HARNETT

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


A key step in assessment is responding (i.e., feedback) to interpretations of learner performance. Effective feedback focuses on task, processes, and self-regulation, rather than the self; in other words, it is on a growth pathway rather than a well-being one. Assessment for Learning also argues that feedback should be learning rather than grading-oriented. Teachers’ beliefs about the nature and purpose of feedback may explain how feedback is implemented. A 71 item Teachers’ Conceptions of Feedback inventory was trialled on a nation-wide sample of New Zealand primary and secondary school teachers (N=518). Participants indicated their degree of agreement for each item using a 6-point, positively-packed rating scale. Exploratory factor analysis (MLE, oblimin rotation) retained 48 items in 10 factors. These were tested with CFA in an inter-correlated model, with acceptable fit. Teachers endorsed most highly learning-oriented feedback and rejected grading-oriented factors. These data suggest that that New Zealand teachers’ espoused conceptions of feedback lay predominantly on a growth pathway, rather than a well-being pathway. Copyright © 2010 The Authors.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2010


New Zealand
secondary school teacher
primary school teacher
rating scale
factor analysis


Brown, G. T. L., Harris, L. R., & Harnett, J. (2010, July). Teachers’ conceptions of feedback: Results from a national sample of New Zealand teachers. In G. T. L. Brown (Chair), Cross-cultural examinations of teachers’ conceptions of assessment and feedback: Results from survey studies in China, Cyprus, Hong Kong, & New Zealand. Symposium conducted at the 7th Conference of the International Test Commission: Challenges and Opportunities in Testing and Assessment in a Globalized Economy, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, China.